In recent years, the Asia-Pacific region has experienced robust economic growth with emerging economies. However, key challenges remain in ensuring that negative environmental and social consequences are vigorously tackled and that economic opportunities benefit all.
Severe and pressing issues which have arisen as consequences include climate change, melting of glaciers, rising sea level, biodiversity loss, energy crisis, food insecurity and health problems, depleting natural resource base, natural disasters, migration and deforestation. Vicious circle of poverty is on the top of all. The transition to a green economy, revision of institutional frameworks on sustainable development and enabling of low-carbon solutions to energy issues are therefore at central to address these interconnected challenges.
It is our firm belief as Asia Pacific youth [representing over 50% of the worlds population], that Rio+20 marks an important milestone for the global community to critically reassess our collective commitment towards sustainable development and to implement the reforms that are necessary to transform our societies and economies. The decisions made at Rio+20 will have potentially widespread implications for the Asia-Pacific region. It is us, the youth, who will be affected in future with the decisions made today, and we have to take lead in the coming era in effecting and establishing better economic structures and mechanisms for conservation of our environment.
Therefore, it is crucial that we effectively and strongly participate in decision making processes through the provision of important perspectives, thereby taking ownership of the trajectory of the Asia-Pacific's development path leading to a more sustainable future.
Keeping in view the diversity of the Asia-Pacific region, this paper sheds light on the most pragmatic recommendations made by youth, as vital change makers, to address our regional issues.